Monday, May 31

The Bowling Shirt Coincidence

A coincidence today with thanks from Brian via JC.

Bowling pinsI grew up in a very small town - I’ll call it Smithtown - about 2 hours from the Canadian border and about three hours from Toronto. This was in the 70s and early 80s.

The town had a single small bowling alley, run by a middle-aged Mr.X who had two daughters, Julia and Annie X, both of whom were pretty good bowlers. Annie was actually a friend of mine.

In 1998, I sat by myself in a small bar in Toronto, Canada nursing a beer and watching the World Series on TV. In walked a pretty young woman of about 20, with some friends. She and her friends were all complete strangers to me.

The pretty young woman was wearing a bowling shirt, which was a fad at that time. I looked at the back of the Shirt, and it read 'Smithtown Lanes'.

Astonished, I walked over to her and told her that I grew up in Smithtown and bowled at Smithtown Lanes often when I was a kid.

She was a little taken back. Then I looked at the name sown into her shirt, and it was Annie X!

I told the pretty young woman that I knew the original owner of the shirt, and she was floored - although I’m not sure she believed me.

Then, to top it all off, I asked her how she got the shirt. I figured she must have travelled to a location near Smithtown at some point, where the shirt was on sale used. But no - she said that she bought the shirt at a thrift shop in British Columbia, all of the way across the continent. She had just moved to Toronto a few weeks ago!

How strange a coincidence is that - Brian

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Sunday, May 30

Thought Of The Day

two hippos - hippopotamusTo mean something to somebody is one of the greatest satisfactions in life

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Saturday, May 29

Speaking To My Dead Father

DadI'm not too sure what to make of this. Last night I was meditating, nothing unusual there, as I often do this - though mostly in the mornings.

My wife had gone up to bed and I just had a feeling that I needed to meditate. I remember checking the clock and telling myself that twenty minutes would suffice.

I followed my usual routine and after about 15 minutes I heard a voice in my left ear. This has never happened previously.

The voice simply said, "Your dad is listening to you."

It was absolutely clear - though I didn't recognise whose voice said those words.

I was still relaxed in my meditation pose so I followed my instinct and spoke softly, telling my dad how I missed him, and my mother, and said a thank you for all they did for me over the years, especially while I was growing up. I also spoke about my son and how he was doing.

I then opened my eyes and that was it.

It was all a strange moment.

I can only think it goes back to the time when my dad died and how, regrettably, I wasn't there. It's something I've always had on my mind, even though he moved on over twenty years ago.

As for the voice I heard, I'm not sure what to believe. Maybe, as it was late at night, I had simply fallen asleep and dreamt it, but I'm pretty sure I didn't.

I'd like to think that dad heard what I said.

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Friday, May 28

The Mystery Of The Angels Of Mons

Angels of MonsMyth or fact the Angels of Mons makes an interesting story.

In August of 1914 things weren't going too well for British troops as they fought the Germans near to the village of Mons in France during World War I.

The greater numbers of the German forces began to overwhelm the British soldiers and they had no alternative but to retreat. However all was not lost as winged and robed angels appeared between the opposing armies causing the Germans to fall into disarray.

As far fetched as this will seem to many lots of the British troops who served at Mons insist that they saw the angels who came to their rescue.

In 1915 a Private Robert Cleaver of the 1st Cheshire regiment swore an affidavit of what he had witnessed: "I personally was at Mons and saw the vision of the angels with my own eyes."

An unnamed lance-corporal is quoted as saying, "I could see quite plainly in mid-air a strange light which seemed to be quite distinctly outlined and was not a reflection of the moon, nor were there any clouds in the neighbourhood. The light became brighter and I could see quite distinctly three shapes, one in the centre having what looked like outspread wings, the other two were not so large, but were quite plainly distinct from the centre one. They appeared to have a long loose-hanging garment of a golden tint they were above the German line facing us."

General John Charteris also wrote to his family of how, "The angel of the Lord on the traditional white horse, clad all in white with a flaming sword, faced the Germans and forbade their progress."

What really happened that day becomes muddied by author Arthur Machen and his short story called The Bowmen, which was published also in 1914 in the London Evening News newspaper.

Machen's story told of how phantom bowmen from the Battle of Agincourt (which is near Mons), were summoned by a soldier calling on Saint George, and these bowmen saved struggling British soldiers from the Germans.

Though Machin's story was fiction, and the actual battle near Mons is fact, controversy has followed that the Angels of Mons story was based on The Bowmen and was built on as propaganda by the British.

There is a dispute as to what was written first: The Bowman or the letter mentioned from General John Charteris.

Even today the debate carries on as to whether the Angels of Mons are fact or fiction. Were those soldiers helped by angels or was it propaganda, mass hallucination or something else?

A final word from AJP Taylor (The First World War), the respected historian, who wrote about Mons:

"The battle of Mons was a small affair by later standards, no bigger than some of the engagements in the Boer War. Still, it was the first British battle; and also the only one where supernatural intervention was observed, more or less reliably, on the British side. Indeed the 'Angels of Mons' were the only recognition of the war vouchsafed by the Higher Powers."

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Thursday, May 27

The Flickr Pregnant Blue And Pink Dots

flickr pink and blue dotsSomething light hearted today. The photo below is from Daniel Green amongst his flickr pics.

This is how he describes the coincidence that brought about this photo.

"I showed up to work today and saw that two of my co-workers, who are both equally far along in their pregnancies, just happened to be wearing the same kind of stretchy shirt, one in blue and the other in pink. They were facing each other talking, and as soon as I saw those identically round bellies, I thought of the dots in Flickr's logo! I explained this and asked them if I could take a photo with my camera-phone. They agreed. They even put their bellies together for me."

The flickr dots he mentions are what often shows up on flickr while waiting for a photo or photos set to load on their website (pic top right).

Pregnant mums tums
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Wednesday, May 26

Evil Nightmares And The Number 2

evil shadow nighmareI have been reading recently about people who have, what I would call, nightmares. These are ones which feature a dark or black cloaked figure, usually thought of as being male.

I've read dozens of such cases where this figure is often in the corner of the room or sometimes floats above the person having the 'nightmare'. Most describe the figure as being evil. One woman wrote, "It reeks pure evil and I just know it’s there to hurt or kill me. I have never felt such fear in all my life."

Another woman told of how, "I find myself sitting straight up screaming. Should my husband try to grab my arm or wake me up, it just makes it worse. I have kicked, scratched and hit him. He's a 250 pound man and I only weigh 120 but I have kicked him clear off the bed and onto the floor thinking he was someone trying to attack me."

blue number 2What made me write about this is because of something I kept reading about the number 2 in associaion with this experience, an example being:

"Also for some reason the number 2 seems to play a prominent role, with some dreams starting with me fixated over the impression that I’m surrounding with a great number of people before that number becomes divided down into two, as in me and the presence."

Why this interests me is because I have only ever had one nightmare in my life. It was as a child of 9 or 10 but is still imprinted in my mind. I 'dreamt' that I was being chased by the number 2. I remember my mother telling me how I was standing up in my bed pointing to the corner of the room where I was insistent that a number 2 was coming to get me. To this day, I remember how terrified I was of that number 2.

Fortunately I have nothing against the number 2 today!

It's fascinating though, how many people have dreams / nightmares / night terrors about the evil dark figures and how sometimes a number 2 is involved.

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Tuesday, May 25

The Bulgarian Lottery Coincidence

In 1986, Evelyn Marie Adams won the New Jersey lottery for the second time in four months, an outcome called a '1 in 17 trillion' long shot in a New York Times. They were probably a bit out on those stats!In September of last year it was the regular lottery draw in Bulgaria. The winning numbers were drawn live on television: 4, 15, 23, 24, 35 and 42.

Everyone was stunned by the result.

Why? Because these were the exact same numbers as per the previous draw! What a coincidence.

"Was it a conspiracy or some form of cheating?" everyone wanted to know. Especially when they heard that there were 18 winners, - yet no one had picked the correct numbers the previous time the numbers had come up.

Everything was checked and double checked and an official declared that, 'manipulation was impossible.'

All sorts of mathematical odds were produced. One mathematician in Bulgaria, Michail Konstantinov, said that the same numbers being selected twice in a row was one in four million. Not sure how he arrived at this as we are told in the UK that to pick out six numbers from 49, in one draw, is odds of 13,983,816 to one. Perhaps Michail's decimal point was in the wrong place or something.

Whatever the odds, it was an unusual happening to say the least. The Bulgarian mathematician did go on to say that, 'coincidences do happen.'

A spokesperson for the Bulgarian lottery said, "This is happening for the first time in the 52 year history of the lottery. We are absolutely stunned to see such a freak coincidence but it did happen."

The problem with statistics, when considering if they are a meaningful coincidence, is that 72.4% of stats are made up!

For UK lottery players: Up to date stats (at 21-05-10) show that the numbers which are drawn most are: 38, 23, 11, 44, 31 and 43. But whichever numbers you pick, it's still odds of nearly 14 million to one to win the jackpot.

Further Reading:
Bizarre Chinese Lottery Coincidence
Senior Citizen's Lottery Agony

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Monday, May 24

The Red Balloon Coincidence

It seemed the obvious thing to do for a 10 year old. Laura Buxton was at her grandparent's golden wedding anniversary and there was a helium filled balloon going spare. So she wrote on a label her address with the message 'Please return to Laura Buxton' and released the balloon to fly off in the sky. Laura was in Staffordshire, England.

Ten days passed and a farmer in Milton Lilbourne, Wiltshire pulled a balloon out of the hedge that separated his fields from his neighbour's house.

He noticed the name of Laura Buxton. As this was the name of his neighbour's daughter he handed over the balloon straight away, thinking it must belong to her. But this was a different Laura Buxton, though she was also ten years old, but she lived 140 miles away from the girl who had released the balloon.

Laura Buxton from Milton Lilbourne got out her pen and wrote to Laura Buxton in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. As this was such a coincidence their parents allowed them to meet up ... and then it got a lot more of a bizarre coincidence.

The girls, both tall for their age, were the same height and both decided to wear pink sweaters and jeans for their first meeting. Their hair was brown and they both wore it in the same style ... but there's still more!

Both girls had three year old black Labrador Retrievers dogs and grey pet rabbits. They also had guinea pigs, which were the same color and even had the same orange markings on their hindquarters.

It was almost like these were identical girls, two halves brought together by a balloon.

This all happened in June 2001 but the girls are still friends as they feel the circumstances that brought them together are too significant to be written off as mere coincidence - and who can argue with this!

The story was first seen in the Swindon Advertiser newspaper.

I'm told that there was a similar incident where a young girl sent a mermaid balloon, with a note attached, to her deceased father in heaven. The balloon travelled over 3000 miles and was found by a hunter in Mermaid Lake, Canada, who eventually located the little girl. The movie Mermaid is supposedly based on this incident.

Further Reading:
Red Balloon Coincidence Update
Red Balloon Video - another update
Coincidence or Synchronicity - Example 3 - About an unexpected meeting

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Sunday, May 23

Thought Of The Day

The woman with a swanIt matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are.
- Publilius Syrus circa 42 BC

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Photo: Mike Perry 2009.

Saturday, May 22

The Egg Custard Or A Lucky Coincidence

This is a story from the BBC's WW2 Wartime Memories Archives and was submitted by Genevieve. It tells of how an egg custard saved a life.

ARP badgeLet me set the scene. It is 1941, at the start of the Blitz, the 10th of January. The place is Southsea in Portsmouth near the railway lines at Fratton. Our family consisted of my dad George, my mum Rene, my elder sister Muriel, and I am Roy who had his 5th birthday a few months earlier. Dad worked as a printer and travelled daily to Gosport, and in the evening served as a member of the ARP (Air Raid Precautions), that much maligned band of people who are so badly served by the TV image.

On this particular evening during which the air raid warning had sounded, we had finished our tea and Dad was talking about going on duty, but Mum said that Dad was to have his egg custard before he left as she had made it especially for him. At that time fresh eggs were in short supply in the City. Dad dutifully ate his pudding and, while he was eating, two loud explosions suddenly shook the house and it was remarked that 'they were close'. Having finished his pudding, off he went.

From conversations afterwards it appeared that one of the explosions was a bomb that destroyed the ARP Post that Dad would have been in. At least one Warden was killed and one buried for a long time. Dad would not talk about this incident or any other subsequent events. But thanks to the egg custard, his life had been saved.

We remained in Southsea for the duration and suffered damage to our house, but that is another story. The story of the incident of the Egg Custard remained buried as a memory only to be revived by the history projects programme.

WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at

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Friday, May 21

The Ghostly Ghost Photo Of The Brown Lady

Ghost photos are invariably in dispute. Today in the UK newspapers, for example, has been the report on the Wem Ghost picture. This has now been proven to be a girl superimposed from an old 1922 postcard. For 15 years people thought the photo genuine.

This reminded me of the Brown Lady Ghost of Raynham Hall (photo below) which, as far as I know, has never been shown to be a fake. Some call it the most famous ghost photo in England. There is a history to go along with the photo.

Ghost - Brown Lady of Raynham Hall
The story is that the Brown Lady is the ghost of Lady Townsend who was imprisoned in the estate by her husband. She remained there until her death. No wonder she was a might miffed and now hangs about Raynham Hall, which is in Norfolk, scaring people.

Raynham Hall, Norfolk, EnglandThere have been some famous sightings of her ghost. King George IV is said to have seen her while he was in bed. He looked up and there she was in a brown dress, pale faced and with her hair disheveled - which is no way to greet a king! This was way back during the nineteenth century.

In the early 1800's a Colonel Loftus was at the hall for the Christmas festivities. He saw the ghost in the hall, again wearing a brown dress. She then disappeared. The Colonel, obviously a glutton for punishment, saw her a second time and noticed that her eyes had been gouged out. I guess that is the sort of thing you would notice.

Sightings of the ghost continued. There was one by Captain Frederick Marryat who saw her gliding along the upstairs hallway. The story is that he fired a gun at her - no idea why - the bullet went right through her, which surely was to be expected, and lodged in a wall.

As for the photo itself. This was snapped in 1936 by two photographers for the very respectable Country Life magazine. The gentlemen were the exotically named Captain Povland and Indre Shira.

Indre Shira explained, at the time, as to how they came to take the photo:

"Captain Provand took one photograph while I flashed the light. He was focusing for another exposure; I was standing by his side just behind the camera with the flashlight pistol in my hand, looking directly up the staircase. All at once I detected an ethereal veiled form coming slowly down the stairs. Rather excitedly, I called out sharply: 'Quick, quick, there's something.' I pressed the trigger of the flashlight pistol. After the flash and on closing the shutter, Captain Provand removed the focusing cloth from his head and turning to me said: 'What's all the excitement about?'"

The subsequent photo was published in Country Life on December 16, 1936.

Further Reading:
The Ghost Of Abraham Lincoln Walks The White House
The Ghost Who Leaves Pennies In A Tyre Depot
A Doctors Messages From The Dead

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Photo: Raynham Hall -

Thursday, May 20

John Lennon Photo Predicts His Death

I expect that for many readers this is probably pushing the coincidence thing a little too much, but thought I'd still publish it.

When a big name dies unexpectedly lots of predictions about the death come out of the woodwork. Think Elvis Presley, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson and, in this instance, John Lennon.

John Lennon death prediction photo
Mark David Chapman who killed John LennonLet's look at the photo above, supposedly a picture which predicts John's death.

That's John in the pic, standing by a sign which reads: 'The best way to go is by M D & Co.' But in the photo the o of Co is missing. This leaves MDC which just happens to be the initials of his killer - Mark David Chapman. (Photo Right: NYPD mugshot of Chapman in 1980, Public Domain)

And another coincidence MD&Co are, so I'm told, funeral directors!

So there you have it, a photo which predicted John Lennon's death and also gave his killers initials ... maybe, perhaps ...

Further Reading:
Famous Coincidences: Michael Jackson's Will And Memorial Service

Wednesday, May 19

The Titanic Boarding Pass Coincidence

I've written about coincidences involving the ill fated Titanic previously but here's something else that ties in with that story.

Last year there was a special Titanic exhibition held at the Maritime Museum in Falmouth, Cornwall. John and Elizabeth Curnow from Plymouth decided to take a look.

Visitors to the exhibition were all given replica Titanic boarding cards with the name of a passenger on them. The idea was that they could then check to see whether the passenger had survived the iceberg.

Obviously lots of these boarding passes were handed out, completely at random. When John and Elizabeth got round to looking at the one they had been given they were amazed to see that the name on the card was that of John's great aunt.

It seems that John's great Aunt, Addie Wells of Penzance, was on board the Titanic along with her children John and Ralph. She was on her way to be reunited with her husband, Arthur, who had emigrated to Akron, Ohio.

The family were originally booked to travel on the Oceanic but were transferred to the Titanic because of coal strikes which were taking place at the time.

Addie and her children, were a few of the lucky ones. They survived by scrambling aboard a lifeboat and were then transferred to the Carpathia and taken to safety.

John said of the boarding pass, "Surely there's more chance of winning the lottery. It had to be fate... never in a million years could we have expected to receive our great aunt's boarding pass."

Further Reading:
Titanic Coincidences

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Tuesday, May 18

Sally Whittaker And LIfe Imitating Art

Sally Whittaker / WebsterSometimes it's not so nice when real life imitates what we see on our television screens - and this was the case for actress Sally Whittaker.

Sally is well known in the UK for her role as Sally Webster in the popular peak time soap Coronation Street. She was pleased - if that is the right word - when she found out that she had a strong and important storyline coming up. Her character was to have breast cancer.

Sally had played out her first scenes for Coronation Street, where her character learned that she was suffering from the disease. In real life her own consultant then told her that she too had breast cancer.

She fainted in shock and afterwards asked the consultant to repeat the diagnosis. She thought that maybe he was getting her character in the soap muddled up with her.

Her life was imitating art and, at first, she, "... found the coincidence almost too much too bear."

This all happened back in October of last year and Sally is sure that if she hadn't have been researching breast cancer, for her role, she would have ignored her own sign that something may be wrong. She recalls, "It was so close to my chest bone I thought, no, it’s absolutely nothing. The idea it might be cancer left my head as soon as it entered it."

After seeing her Coronation Street scripts, however, she remembered her her own 'lump'. She said, "I reached for this little thing by my chest bone. It didn’t feel like I had imagined a lump to feel. It felt like a flat disc about one centimetre long and was not on the fleshy part of the breast."

Coincidentally when she eventually went to see a hospital consultant it happened to be the same one who was advising the Coronation Street's scriptwriting team about Sally's on screen illness.

The real life Sally had to have a lumpectomy and chemotherapy and she shaved her head prior to the treatment.

The good news is that Sally Whittaker, plus wig, is now back filming her part as the other Sally for Coronation Street. These scenes will be shown in July.

In an interview with GMTV today she confirmed, "I'm doing really well - I'm really, really well. I've got through it all, it's been six months but I'm through it and I'm really well. And I'm back to work and I'm raring to go - I can't tell you. Nobody can keep me down!"

Sally also offered some advice: "Any woman, who's got anything that you are slightly worried about, go and get it checked out - because I never thought this would happen to me."

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Monday, May 17

Seed Money Brings A Tenfold Return

Seed MoneyI've mentioned previously how I believe that once we start visualising the things we want in life coincidence or synchronicity often follows. So today I though I'd write a little about Seed Money. This is where it's possible to 'plant' money and watch it grow.

Firstly, Seed Money isn't anything to do with tithing. To tithe is to give one-tenth of an income to a church, charity or some good cause - this is giving, therefore, after we have received.

Seed money is the other way round. Giving first and then receiving a ten fold return - some successful practitioners call it the Law of Tenfold Return.

Over the years I've experimented with Seed Money and generally speaking it works.

If you haven't heard of this process previously it's simplicity itself. You give an amount of money to an organisation or charity that you feel needs the cash. Or it can be to a needy individual or family.

You give the money with the full belief that it will return to you tenfold i.e. give £10 or $10 and receive back £100 or $100.

This is the full procedure.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over ...(1) Plant your Seed Money - by giving it freely, without fear to the person or organisation you choose.

(2) Cultivate your Seed Money by claiming your return. Use your own phrase, something you feel comfortable with, but along the lines of: "I have received £/$ ...... (ten times the amount given) in return, to the good of all concerned. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

(3) Repeat the phrase over and over during the day and especially last thing at night and first thing in the morning.

And that's it. You simply believe that the money claimed is already yours.

How the money will actually arrive isn't your problem, just trust that it will. Perhaps a coincidence will happen, maybe you'll get a completely unexpected bonus from your employer, you might win a prize, who knows ... but it will come about.

If you haven't planted Seed Money previously I would suggest you start small. Perhaps a few pounds or dollars that won't affect your budget. Working this way is a bit like developing your muscles, do it gradually. Confidence and belief will build until you know 100% that it will work. You can then start lifting those heavier weights or demonstrating larger amounts of money.

Seed Money may sound crazy to some readers but whatever we give out we get back - be that good things or bad.

The truth is, we could just ask and visualise the amount of money we want without giving first - but Seed Money makes the whole process easier and more believable. Plus someone or some organisation will benefit too, which can't be bad.

Good luck.

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Sunday, May 16

A Doctor's Messages From The Dead

Dr Ian RubensteinIan Rubenstein is a doctor, a proper medical doctor working as a General Practitioner in Enfield, North London. He says he is agnostic but receives messages ... from the dead.

The doctor gives an example:

"Linda is one patient whose husband Brian died suddenly following an operation last year. When she and her daughter Cheryl were with me one day, I had a strong sense of Brian's presence. He was a big man and had a big physical presence.

I told them he was mentioning carpets - I had an image in my mind of a red carpet being rolled out.

Linda and Cheryl could not believe it. They had just come from a carpet store and had been trying to choose new stair-carpet and couldn't decide between red and green.

'Dad wants us to choose the red one,' they both agreed."

Often the messages are very ordinary, but they no doubt are meaningful to the people concerned.

Dr Rubenstein gives a further instance of a feeling he received:

"On one occasion I kept thinking of the word Sutton. First I thought about Dr Sutton who I had worked with 25 years previously when I was a junior doctor. Then I read a book which I suddenly realised was by a man called Sutton and I kept seeing Sutton on maps.

After that there was a request for a home visit for a patient named Sutton and I felt sure that I, rather than any of the other doctors, should visit her.

The patient, an elderly woman, had a swollen knee. After I had dealt with it, I talked to her daughter and mentioned my curious Sutton coincidences.

She told me she felt I was meant to visit her so she could tell me about her father who had died four years ago and on one recent evening had appeared before her and held her hand. I felt that I had strayed into a whole other realm."

So does Dr Goldstein believe in life after death? After all he does appear to receive messages from beyond the grave. He answered, "I don't do belief but the evidence I have read, the stories I have heard and my own experiences make me lean towards it. You could say I am slightly more than half-convinced."

Below is a video from a British television programme Talking To The Dead which features Dr Goldstein (about 2m.30s. into the video).

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Saturday, May 15

Bible Coincidences Where God Is At The Centre

Bible Psalm 118:8Here's one of those strange coincidences I hadn't heard before. It's about the Bible and supposedly shows that God is at the centre of the Bible. The facts can easily be checked. Well maybe not easily but they can be confirmed if so inclined.

To start off with:

The shortest chapter of the Bible is Psalms 117 and the longest chapter is Psalms 119.

Now by 'coincidence' Psalms 118 is the middle chapter of the Bible - between the shortest and the longest.

That's all pretty straight foward.

This means that there are 594 chapters (if you have time to count them) before Psalms 118 and, of course, as it's in the middle, there are 594 chapters after Psalms 118.

Okay, if you add 594 and 594 hopefully you'll get a total of 1188.

This is where it gets interesting because Psalms 118:8 just happens to be the middle verse of the Bible - another coincidence? And this is what the verse reads:

"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."

In other words God is at the centre of the Bible.

Q.E.D. or quod erat demonstrandum.

Obviously it's up to individuals as to what they actually make of this.

Friday, May 14

Simple Coincidences About Old Friends Meeting Up

A couple of simple, short coincidences today - if there is such a thing, that is. Both are about meeting someone they hadn't seen for years. Thanks to my friend JC for sourcing these for me.

Your personal coincidence or synchronicity stories are always welcome.

Last week while visiting my brother in Brighton, where I used to live, I casually asked, "I wonder if my mate James still lives here?"

I hadn’t seen James for over 18 years.

The next day I went for a drive to Eastbourne with my brother. This is a few miles along the coast from Brighton. We walked along the pier and there was James sitting on a seat enjoying the sea view!

Stan J.

I was wandering around an open air market in Wimborne with my daughter-in-law. I said to her, "I would give anything if I could see Alice’s face just one more time." This was an old neighbour who I hadn’t seen for over seven years.

Virtually seconds or maybe minutes later I walked over to a litter bin to get rid of a Coke can I had been carrying. I looked up and there was Alice putting something into the other side of the litter bin. I couldn’t believe it.

Gentle Gen
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Thursday, May 13

A Retrocognition Experience

I thought today we would look at retrocognition for a change. And for this purpose there follows something that Rayner Garner experienced and which is mentioned in Colin Wilson's book Mysteries - an investigation into the occult, the paranormal and the supernatural.

As I understand it, following a special meditation process, which unfortunately is not explained, Rayner Garner found himself in a 'placid emotional condition'. This, he says, lasted for about three weeks

Illusion"The effect that it (the meditation) had on me ... was to notice that if I stared at an object for more than a fleeting glance, I would begin to see superimposed, or rather under-imposed, another picture. On this occasion I was staring at a light plug and saw a picture which appeared to be people in a factory, which I took to be the place where it was manufactured. If I continued to gaze, a further series of pictures, rather more hazy, would appear - scenes which seemed to be the places where the raw materials of the plug were mined or extracted. I found this to be true of just about everything I looked at for any length of time.

I was aware that this could have been an illusion ... and subjected this to a test.

I visited my mother who had lived in Harrow (England) for most of her life and knew the surrounding countryside before it had been built on. With her, I walked around Harrow and its surrounds, describing, to her astonishment, the landscape with its farms, streams and fairly small pockets of dwelling places in existence before I had been born. According to her memory I was very accurate. I cannot, of course, discount the possibility that I had at some time heard her describe what it was like in the past ... all I can say is that I cannot consciously remember anything of the sort.

I also noticed that, as with the light plug, if I continued to look at one area, earlier dwellings would appear, then scrub or forest only; finally, in one case, earlier primitive dwellings such as I imagine a Stone Age settlement would look.

As to myself, I noticed that I appeared to be somewhat insubstantial. As I walked, everything, including my own body, appeared to be shimmering - at first I thought that I would have trouble negotiating stairs and kerb stones ... The whole universe seemed to be unreal, shimmering with energy. The only real thing was 'I'. For the first time in my life, I felt myself to be real. The observer was really 'here', and observing; everything else was an illusion. I could see particles which, for some reason, were slowed down. What a change from my usual state in which 'I' felt insubstantial and the rest of the universe too horribly real."

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Wednesday, May 12

A Woman Wearing A Yellow Dress Reminds Me What Happiness Is All About

Lindos RhodesI was about to sit down to dinner with my wife when I had this clear picture in my mind of a woman wearing a yellow dress. She was someone we had seen some seven or eight years ago, while in the village of Lindos on the Greek island of Rhodes.

At the time we had been staying in a fisherman's cottage built into the mountain side overlooking the village. Lindos is on a hill which seems to erupt from the blue sea with sparkling white houses glistening in the sunshine and peaked by a monastery. It's a very magical place.

One day we had been to the beach for the morning, swimming in the clear water and generally enjoying the sunshine. In the early afternoon we strolled back to the village and in the main square a wedding group were forming after the ceremony. Music started to play and there was laughter and happiness everywhere.

We decided to have a glass of red wine and watch what was going on. It was a real Zorba the Greek occasion and the wedding guests were soon dancing and enjoying themselves. Amongst them was a woman wearing a yellow dress.

She was so radiant that she stood out from the other guests. She danced, laughed and sizzled with being alive and enjoying the moment. Even as outsiders my wife and I couldn't help but get caught up in the moment - and, for some reason, I was transported back to this scenario when sitting down to dinner a couple of nights ago.

I said to my wife, "Do you remember that woman in the square in Lindos?"

"Oh yes," she replied, "The one with the yellow dress. We had such a fun time in Lindos, didn't we? Do you also remember ...."

And over dinner we relived our time in Rhodes.

The Greek programme, Minack Theatre, CornwallIt's always odd how an image from the past can form in the mind. When I went to my office later that evening I pulled out some papers from a file and there amongst them was the programme to a play we saw last year at the Minack Theatre.

The play was called The Greek and it was roughly based on Zorba the Greek and how a young studious traveller meets up with the life loving Alexis Zorba.

The author Nikos Kazantzakis wrote:

"We stayed silent by the brazier until far into the night. I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else. And all that is required to feel that happiness here and now is a simple frugal heart."

I feel that my mind's picture, of the woman in the yellow dress, combined with The Greek programme was there to remind me what happiness is all about - and that sometimes, perhaps, I take life a little too seriously.

The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Cornwall on the night I saw The Greek
Minack Theatre, Cornwall
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Tuesday, May 11

Holy Man Hasn't Had Food Or Drink For 70 Years

Prahlad Jani82 year old Prahlad Jani claims that he hasn't eaten or had any form of drink for nearly 70 years. So is this another Yogi trickster or could there just be an element of truth within his story?

Though he hasn't devoured any food Prahlad Jani said, "I walk 100 or 200 kilometres in the jungle, I never sweat and don’t feel tired or sleepy. I can meditate for three, eight or 12 hours — or even months."

Before we completely write this off, the gentleman has recently been submitted to medical tests and has been under supervision in an Indian hospital in Gujarat. For 15 days he was watched and observed around the clock and the claim is that he consumed no food or water. The lack of water should have been sufficient to cause him ill health, to say the least.

What is his secret? The Hindu Holy Man says, "I am strong and healthy, because it is the way God wants me to be."

It seems that Prahlad Jani underwent a spiritual experience when he was 11 years old and became a follower of the Godess Amba. In return the Goddess provides him with a life giving, invisible elixir.

A Dr Shah and biologist Dr Ilavashagn, director of the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), a funded department of the Defence Research and Development Organisation have reported that, after apparently living on thin air for two weeks, the holy man was more healthy than someone half his age.

The doctors went on to say, "What is truly astonishing, and something we have no explanation for, is that he has not passed stools or urine. To our knowledge, that is medically unprecedented." Well I guess if he hadn't eaten or drunk anything he wouldn't need to get rid of any waste material.

Personally I like these sort of stories. I want to believe them to be true. Yoga tells us about prana and Chinese medicine has the 'energy flow' of Qi. Perhaps if we used these properly we too wouldn't need food or drink. Or maybe this is simply another trickster.

You can read more info on Wikipedia about Inedia (the art of living without food) and Prahlad Jani.

Anyone fancy a veggie-burger? Or shall we breathe in a good helping of prana instead?

Monday, May 10

A Meeting By Coincidence

Today's story is, with thanks, from Audrey T. A broken relationship leads to a strange coincidence.

My long term partner and I parted, it seems he wanted other things from life - including other women!

I was very down but an old friend Julie, who I rarely see as she has moved to Paris, said she would be visiting me the coming weekend. This gave me a lift and I looked forward to seeing her.

I met up with her at London Heathrow airport and she said she was bursting to tell me something.

She told me what had happened. On the plane from Paris she was seated next to another woman and they struck up a conversation. It turned out that she was from Uxbridge, which is where I also live, and Julie asked her almost jokingly if she therefore knew me.

The woman stuttered in an embarrassed way and then stopped talking.

Arriving in Heathrow the woman suddenly turned to Julie and said something not very nice about me, which I won't repeat here. Julie ended the conversation but noticed that the woman was called Anne Burbridge* from her luggage label.

And Anne Burbridge is the name of one of the women who had been having an affair with my ex-partner.

The 'coincidence' quite shocked us. What are the odds that Julie, who I see only perhaps once or twice a year, would be seated next to the woman who was - to put it politely - romantically involved with my ex.

Sometimes I think that coincidences happen for a reason but I'm not exactly sure of the reason for this particular chance meeting.

*Name has been changed
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Sunday, May 9

How A Prayer Was Answered

A story today from Josue about a 'coincidence' that happened in his life - or maybe it was a prayer answered.
father and son forgiveness"I wanted to share a personal story of mine.

As a child I was taught Catholic and Jewish beliefs. I'd have to say that growing up within these religions left me a bit confused. It wasn't long before I decided that religion was just bull.

However, despite my beliefs at this point, my story takes me on a journey of faith - which I promised myself I would share if I had the opportunity.

When I was five years old my father left my mother and I.

I didn't realise or know, until many years later, as to why he left us. It was because he was sick and suffered from schizophrenia. To cut a long story short, he left as he considered this would be what was best for us. Unfortunately though, until I discovered this fact, during all my years while growing up I hated him.

Fourteen years later, after understanding why he left me, I prayed and asked God to forgive me for having hated my dad for all of those years.

The very next day, out of the blue, I had a phone call from my dad! He called, after all of those years, just to say hello.

When I think now about this coincidence, I fall back on the thought that God must have heard my prayer."
Further Reading:
A Mystical Approach To Problem Solving

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